Baguio Ube Jams in Baguio City - Philippines
Root crops, like ube, grow richer on mountain slopes. This explains why Baguio ube jams are deliciously different from other types of ube jams or “jaleya.”
Ube tubers are boiled unpeeled until cooked. Then peel them, grind or mill, mix with milk and cane sugar, heat and constantly stir until thick like paste. Place in sterilized bottles, cool off, and then cover and seal. Then we have the delectable ube jams ready for selling.
Some put portions of butter as they stir the boiling ube mix for more subtle tasting ube jams. Good ube jams are naturally light purple in color. Some put food coloring for a deeper violet hue. However, using condensed milk also results to a dark purple or violet color of ube jams. Most people today prefer all-natural foods.
Baguio City has hordes of jam makers all claiming to produce all-natural ube jams. To be sure, we should buy popular brands of ube jams; word goes around Baguio fast, even reaching Metro Manila, and we’re sure to easily find the latest best brands of ube jams by simply asking around. Of course, never ask ube jam sellers. Ask hotel or restaurant managers, relatives living in Baguio, or people who frequent the city.
Some popular brands of ube jams in Baguio City are Good Shepherd (Mountain Maid) and Tamtanco. Good quality ube jams are sweetened just right, creamy, light purple in color, not chewy but easily pressed by the tongue once in the mouth. Real ube jams quickly release their sweet, luscious, and milky aroma once the jam bottles are opened. Unlike fake ube jams.
Fake ube jams either smell bland or sugary. They’re too dark in color and rigid in texture—almost like chewing soft rubber. Sometimes they look shiny. There are “ube” jams made of sweet potato or a mix of ube and sweet potato. Make sure to get pure ube jams.
Ube jams are perfect for topping on ice cream, halo-halo (a favorite native cool fruit mix with finely crushed ice, sugar, and milk), bananas, partnered with leche flan or gelatin, mixed with cold milk or hot coffee, used as a sandwich spread, cake and ice cream flavor, wrapped pastries, or simply scooped with a spoon and eaten as it is. Ube jams are a versatile delicacy perfect as a dessert any time of the day.
Moments with our love ones in Baguio City become more pleasurable with mouthfuls of ube jams as we stroll around romantic sights or simply linger and loaf in our hotel rooms.